Middle Grade Fiction

middle grade fiction


One way to fix the middle grade fiction literacy problem and drop-our rate of our children in America is for authors to visit middle grade schools with loads of enthusiasm.

Yesterday marked the start of my adventure and doing what I can to get kids excited about reading middle grade fiction.  With the help of Mr. Murphy, an awesome middle=grade teacher here in Santa Monica, I spent my Friday morning with 5th, 6th and 7th Graders of St. Anne’s Catholic School.  The Daily Pretzel said I had “more energy and enthusiasm than a bus full of sugar-high 5th graders.”  It’s a good thing because I needed every ounce of it.  To say the room was BUZZING with energy would be an understatement.

We had close to 60 kids in one classroom and if you don’t bring your A-Game of enthusiasm with kids, they will eat you alive.  It truly was an awesome way to start the Saltwater Taffy National Tour.  Next up, Las Vegas!  More from the road coming up!

Eric DelaBarre is an award-winning filmmaker and the author of Saltwater Taffy.


Middle Grade Fiction


The term Middle Grade Fiction is not only a genre for children’s books, but an idea of how a thought can be a work of fiction sometimes.

When I first thought about this post for Saltwater Taffy, I gave it the title: “Dreams VS. Doubts.”  Then, I realized the topic is NOT a battle, but a choice.  When you battle something, you give power to the other side, which is why we now have a title of MIDDLE GRADE FICTION: DREAMS & DOUBTS.  Doubts had nothing to do with capturing my dream of writing my book Saltwater Taffy.  I simply made the CHOICE to tell the story no matter what.  That’s the dream — doing what it takes to finish something — the desire to do it NO MATTER WHAT. Read more


Middle Grade Fiction


Authors of middle grade fiction titles must wake up to the idea that times have changed.  As the children’s book market continues to shrink, it is important to have a cause behind your Children’s Book.  Without it, you are facing an uphill battle in the world of publishing.

In the past, I have written episodes of TV and made movies because I needed to ‘make some money.’  I was living in my own world of fiction because those jobs lacked the most important element of all: my soul.

Through many trials and tribulations, not to mention hours of frustration in illogical living, otherwise known as Hollywood, I have now discovered my ultimate reason for being; to be in the service of others.  I now do things that are cause related, and not ‘because’ I need the money.  I mean, without the cause, I might as well be scraping barnacles from the side of a battleship.   Sure, working on Law & Order was cool, but it didn’t fit what I was supposed to do with my life.

As my wife Julie and I are expecting our first child in May, I have never felt more ‘on point’ with my life.  I have been waiting my entire career to write Saltwater Taffy and now we are 7 days away from the big release.  I guess you could say that right now, right here, LIFE IS GOOD!  Let’s turn this motha OUT.

PS: The photo above is from an 11 year-old reader in Brentwood, CA.  Don’t you love it?  This was her note to her parents after she finished the book late one night.

MIDDLE GRADE FICTION: The Giveaway Continues

Middle grade fictionMIDDLE GRADE FICTION:

The middle grade fiction giveaway continues.  With the help of a great friend, the Saltwater Taffy continues to find its way into the hands of homeless children this holiday season.  Beyond Shelter is a non-profit organization in Los Angeles that combats poverty and homelessness among families with children.

If you would like to help Beyond Shelter, you can visit their website or call Ofer Raveh (323) 445-7322.  Always remember, each moment is another opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s life…especially a child’s life!

Saltwater TaffySaltwater Taffy
















Saltwater Taffy has been endorsed by 12 Teachers of the Year around the country and is rapidly becoming a children’s book club favorite.  You can find the book at any bookstore on the planet as well as upload a copy to your favorite eBook Reader.




Saltwater TaffyMIDDLE GRADE FICTION: Mine Your Mind!

Middle Grade Fiction is a term I use for the inability for a child’s mind to trick them into believing they are anything but AMAZING.  In Saltwater Taffy, we remind them they are indeed amazing.

There’s no other way to put it, so I will just come out and say it.  When you’re inside your middle grade fiction mind, everything begins and ends with your thoughts.  Thoughts can be like treasure maps, or thoughts by way of nightmares, fully realized.  It is up to you.  This is why it is so important to mine your mind for thoughts that make you happy.

This is the greatest discovery anyone can make, and if you can do it while you’re in middle school, the sky is the limit.  I mean, seriously, imagine that a single thought has the capacity to change your life.  Doesn’t that sound cool?

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